Ocean Terminal, a shopping centre in Leith by the sea, is what some may describe as a lifeless, generic mall, filled with chain restaurants, coffee giants, tacky stalls and high street shops. As someone who has worked there in two instances, I can agree to some extent, but in recent times, the clever people at the centre have been rejuvenating their reputation. By welcoming local creative talent to showcase and sell their products in various retail formats, Ocean Terminal has turned itself into a bustling design hub.

I blogged a little while back about Scotland Redesigned: Limited Edition, and about the opening of the Scottish Design Exchange, but after visiting on Saturday, I was taken aback by not only the amazing storefront, interior and huge range of products at Scottish Design Exchange, but also the presence of other new concept stores, like The Facility (a small showcase of local bespoke products and a fashion and textile maker’s workspace) and Limitless Scotland (a shop filled to the brim with gorgeous gifts from brands based up north).

I spoke with the lovely staff at Scottish Design Exchange, who despite dealing with busy Christmas shopping crowds, took the time to talk to me about the store and all it’s exciting projects, such as a gallery open to the public upstairs, art workshops, fashion shows (one of which was happening there and then-sky high models with glittery hair and stylish outfits strutted about getting their make-up done inshore preparing for the main event downstairs!), blogger events, launch parties, and even local maker’s workspaces in refurbished shipping containers!


You can donate to DOK artist space project and support local talent here, and check out future events like free make-overs in November here. I also love this blog post by Katie Williams about the store- she talks about the amazing products on offer, which were so tempting I ended up doing half my present-shopping there! My favourite brands were Sara Hill (who as a matter of fact is the ONLY original Scottish make-up brand, and all here products are CRUELTY FREE!), Ingingerness (quirky gifts designed by Donna Strachan who I adore!), and fashion designers Nicci N, C Watson, Miscke Lingerie, Lizzie O and Birds of Prayers. What’s more, the whole space is adorned with art, whether that be up cycled furniture, unique displays or simply stunning paintings. If you’re in the city this winter, it’s definitely worth checking out!

Ruth @ Urbanity xxx

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